January 16, 2021

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India’s president: disruptive tech helped overcome the big disruption

Technological advances are often termed as ‘disruptions’, but this year they helped India overcome the big disruption to a great extent, said the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind. The nation’s president made these observations while virtually addressing participants on the occasion of the Digital India Awards 2020.

Coronavirus has changed the world in terms of social relations, economic activities, healthcare, education and several other aspects of life. Yet, life has not come to a standstill – thanks largely to information and communication technology.

India was not only prepared to minimise the adverse impact of mobility-restrictions but also utilised the crisis as an opportunity to march ahead in various arenas. This was was only possible because the digital infrastructure has been strengthened in recent years.

From the judiciary to healthcare, scores of sectors switched to virtual mode. Even education at all levels could be continued as most institutions started offering lessons online fairly quickly.  He said the role of our digital warriors has been commendable in helping the country overcome challenges posed by the pandemic.

For the government too, information technology was one of the most crucial tools to deliver a variety of services to citizens and keep the wheels of the economy turning. Due to cutting-edge and innovative digital interventions, India was able to ensure operational continuity of important government services during and after the lockdown. Proactive implementation of platforms such as Arogya Setu, e-Office and video conferencing services backed by a robust ICT infrastructure has helped the country reduce the pandemic hardships.

Digital India Awards reflect the overall vision of the government to empower citizens to achieve their aspirations and make India a digital superpower. President Shri Nath Kovind

The president urged the nation to keep exploring innovative solutions for the functioning of government.  A paperless and contactless context is good not only for the security and benefit of citizens but will help in making administrative processes more eco-friendly. The country must continue to leverage technology and ICT-driven innovative solutions to aid economic inclusiveness and social transformation even in the remotest corners of our country.

A large segment of our population is still not able to derive the benefits of digital devices and services. The number of such people needs to be minimised by extending digital access to them through effective innovations. This will make India’s digital revolution more inclusive. The Digital India initiative of the government will continue to strive towards reducing the digital divide.

Quoting the famous adage that information is power, the president acknowledged that sharing information with people not only enhances transparency in society but also empowers citizens and civil society. This is highly necessary for informed citizenship, which is the cornerstone of democracy.

With this ideal in mind, the government has started putting different kinds of data sets and data resources in the public domain.  The National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy too envisages a participatory model of governance in which citizens can access non-strategic information from public authorities and become partners with the government in various reform processes.

The government of India has consistently been deploying innovative digital solutions to enhance the quality and reach of government services to citizens. With the rapidly growing spread of internet and mobile, citizens are empowered to gain from government services using any digital devices, anywhere, any time.

Across India, government entities at all levels – centre and state – continue undertaking various initiatives to provide accessible information and services. With each passing year, Digital-Governance initiatives are demonstrating the power of ICT in improving the ease of living for all citizens.

The Digital India Awards is an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to honour exemplary initiatives and practices in Digital-Governance. It offers a national platform to showcase such initiatives. Instituted under the aegis of National Portal of India, the awards serve the purpose of bringing to the fore innovative digital solutions, thereby inspiring emulation by all government entities.

The 6th Digital India Awards 2020 was presented in six categories – Innovation in Pandemic; Excellence in Digital Governance – Ministry/Department (Central); Excellence in Digital Governance – State/Union Territories T; Excellence in Digital Governance – District; Open Data Champion; and Exemplary Product.